Accessibility as default

Alastair Creelman, The corridor of uncertainty, Mar 13, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It makes sense to plan for accessibility by defailt, but the examples offered here show how complex in implementation this actually is. "When writing presentation slides, extra attention to punctuation can make an enormous difference for those who need to listen to the text," writes Alastair Creelman. True. But let's look at the suggestions critically. "Write numbers manually in bullet lists since the automatic numbering is not picked up by the text-to-speech apps." Well I can certainly see the problem but wouldn't it make a lot more sense just to fix the text-to-speech applications? Similarly, "Put stops in acronyms, otherwise the app may say it as a word (U.S.A. or e.g. would be best)." Yes, having the app say "usa" is a problem. But perhaps the app could recognize that the word is in all-caps, a universal symbol that the word is an acronym. In general: design for accessibility by default, yes. But don't make a million people make a change when a small fix to an application could accomplish the same outcome.

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